REVIEW: Sidious – Ascension to the Throne Ov Self [2013]


Band: Sidious

Album: Ascension to the Throne Ov Self

Label: Kaotoxin Records


Symphonic black metal is a tough music style to play, spamming organ music with blast beats in a spastic manner is not adequate for a complete and immersive experience. Sure those elements are needed in order to create the characteristic sound but it is not until these elements have been carefully crafted and edited in just the right areas before it truly can be considered a blackened symphony of brutality. A band hailing from the darkest regions of London have created such a symphony, the appropriately named Sidious take the stage with their debut EP Ascension to the Throne Ov Self, which is probably one of the more evil things you will hear this year. Sidious is far from just a simple black metal band, and you don’t even have to like the genre itself to find this enjoyable, there is so much dark, brutal and an overall bleak atmosphere present in this four-track EP that it will satisfy the bloodlust of any metal fan.

A short sinister intro paves the way for the aggressive blast beats and grindcore like riffing slowly marching towards you in Insurmountable Mass, making it clear that the torrential onslaught being displayed here is not for the faint of heart. Combined with the constant, inhuman growling and the occasional creepy melodics that send cold chills down your spine this track is perfect for introducing you to Sidious. Insanely fast drums that pound your brain more than a weekend hangover combined with a severe migraine are present throughout most of the second track Sentient Race, the gritty guitars that can be heard in the background and the always present monstrous growls do a nice job filling in the void that is left between the fierce drum smashing. The following Nihilistic Regeneration  creates a vivid image in my mind of a barren wasteland and a blackened sky, while the remains of humanity are slowly rotting away. With such a strong immersive atmosphere this is probably my favorite song, but at this point it’s hard to choose. The title track is upon us next, this 5 minute song has equal amounts of everything: screeching guitars, eviscerating drumming, dark melodies, satanic chants and an all round feel of gloom and despair; a brilliant way to end this dark work of art.

As it is with most works of art, the conceptional aspects -in this case the lyrics- play an important role. Ascension to the Throne Ov Self does not feature your run-of-the-mill black metal lyrics about evil stuff just for the sake of being ”evil”, instead the lyrics have meaning; focussing on the corruption of religions and the rebirth of humanity, all coated in a black cloud of atmosphere. Another thing that makes this EP work so well is the correct dosage of some of the instruments, as I said before some bands tend to use that organ sound so much that it loses all meaning, making it all sound out of place but not once is that the case here and it truly does help creating an impressive wall of blistering music. The only bright thing in this sea of darkness and negativity is the amazing potential that Sidious have created with this impressive album, and I’m curious to see what the future holds. Hear for yourself why Ascension to the Throne Ov Self has been getting such a good reception from fans and newcomers alike and prepare yourself for a experience that will not be forgotten anytime soon.

Rating: 9.7/10

For fans ov: Behemoth, Make Them Suffer, The Breathing Process, Fleshgod Apocalypse, Marduk